Well...I am in Amazonas now. I am in an area called Ponta Negra (right by the Rio Negro) in a neighborhood called Compensa. It is very different from the United States that's for sure. It is very hot (114F), very humid, and relatively in a constant state of disorder...compared to where I've been. So, just to give you a little catch up on what's been going on, yesterday I got on a plane at 10:40 a.m. and landed at 1:30 p.m. Manaus time (even though it was a 4 hour flight). Presidente Jayme picked us up (me and 4 other Brazilians from Fortaleza, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro). We had lunch at the Mission Home and then we toured the site of the future temple. It is right on the banks of the Rio Negro River...a pretty awesome view. Then we took a van to the Mission Office where we finished up our paper work and such and found out where we would be serving.
Last night I met my new companiero, Elder Rocha (rock in English), who is about 5'9" and pretty skinny. He is good...a little hard to understand but very helpful and is from Fortaleza. The craziest thing of all is after I told him I was from California he was like, "I was baptized by an elder from California." He proceeded to take out his pictures to show me, but I knew nothing would become of it. To my surprise, it was none other than Logan Moore, who I ran track at Utah State with and talked to quite a bit about my mission before leaving. Pretty crazy!
As for the water in the house, it isn't drinkable or heated. There is a little tub on top of the house that collects rain water and is then naturally pressured to come out of the pvc pipe to the plastic shower head and faucet. It is a little a house but big enough. I have a fan to keep me cool at night and to keep the bugs off...no need for a net yet, but maybe next transfer. Anyway, there are 2 other elders in our house, one from Alaska and the other is Brazilian.
Last night we had dinner at someone's house. I'm not sure what we ate, but it tasted like pizza. Today we went into downtown and saw the Amazon Theatre (Teatro Amazonas) and the docks of the Rio Negro...which just so happened to have a freshwater dolphin hopping out of the water. It was awesome! There were people cooking and preserving piranha everywhere and the city was packed with people...all who looked a little bit different than me.
My P-days are going to be on Wednesday of each week, except for next week which will be Monday because someone is visiting. It's a great experience so far. I'll give you a better idea of the mission next week. The people here are really familiar with the missionaries and enjoy talking with us, which is a great start.
It's really hot here...at night it cools down, though, to a brisk 90 degrees or so. When you get out of the shower, you are already sweating again even though the water was cold. So far so good, though, with the food and bottled water I've been drinking. On a side note, we walked a good 3 miles through neighborhoods and occasionally on dirt sidewalks to get here to this little Internet house, which really didn't surprise me since the area isn't what I would call urban. Thanks for the emails.